Though previous recordings have witnessed no small amount of musical carnage, "Conditions For A Piece Of Music" is more sinister than out and out violent, and this is its main strenght. A convincing exercise in detourned kitsch and masterfully maintained tension, and without a doubt the most effective Ultralyd release to date.
The Wire (UK)
Ultralyd´s third album is a strange and beautiful collision of incongruities that finds them seemingly unsure of what they´re trying to do, but nontheless doing it perfectly...Ultralyd now have thrown the map on the fire and wilfully stuck out into terra incognita...opening track, "Saprochord", sets the scene majestically. Kicking in with a lazy funk backbeat, instead of the expected, inevitable bass hook, it´s slowly adorned with accretions of distant tympani, metallic scrapes, and Varésian rattles - steadily building a sparse, concréte anti-funk blissfully divorced from the tyranny of the riff. Call it a new conception of space music: not just oddly cosmic - see Sun Ra´s "Languidity" - but also spacious enough to produce a musical agoraphobia. From there, the album goes on to explore these two extremeties of form and freedom. There´s tense rhythmless, industrial improv: such as "Pentassonance II", with it´s lonely, hanging guitar notes and disembodied thumps; or the title track´s sombre, stationary investigation into overlapping tones, with vibraphone and guitar menacingly eyeballing each other. Ultralyd are lost all right, in a nightmare landscape of their own invention. For God´s sake don´t tell them how to get home.
Plan B (UK)